Reflexology or Zone Therapy! An Alternative Pain Relief Technique; Origin, Differences, Benefits

Reflexology, which is also known as zone therapy is a remedial technique of pain relief which is done by applying subtle pressure on the feet and hands. This method is beneficial in alleviating the discomfort from its source.

It is a form of alternative medicine which involves applying pressure to the feet, hands, and ears with thumb and finger techniques. It is done without using any oil or other forms of lotions etc. Its theory is centered around claims made by various reflexologists that there are zones and areas which have reflexes, which is an illustration of the whole body, on the feet and hands with the idea that it brings about physical change to the body.

Uses of Reflexology or Zone Therapy

Reflexology or Zone Therapy is an alternative pain relief technique.

Reflexology is helpful in relieving tension, improve circulation in the body, and promote natural function of the associated areas of the body.

Origin of Reflexology or Zone Therapy

Reflexology was amended in the 20th century (in the '30s and '40s) by a physiotherapist named Eunice Ingham who asserted that the areas of the body that are the most sensitive are the feet and hands. She connected the entire body into "reflexes" on the feet gave Zone Therapy the name of Reflexology. This theory is renowned in United States of America and the United Kingdom, although modern techniques are also present.

Comparison between Reflexology and Massage Therapy

Reflexology and massage therapy are generally confused as being the same but there are quite a few differences between them.

Reflexology is applied only to feet, hands and ears so as to promote a response from an area whereas massage therapy is applied to the whole body including the muscles and connective tissue for local benefit and when massage therapy is applied to all the muscles of the body it is beneficial for the whole body.

Understanding Reflexology and Its Effectiveness

There is no agreement between reflexologists as to how this therapy works. The unifying theory is based on the idea that the areas of the foot are equivalent to the areas of the body and that with manipulation the health of an individual is improved. Reflexologists have separated our body into 10 equal zones of which five are right sided and the same left sided. There have been questions raised by medical experts that if serious illnesses are treated with reflexology, the effectiveness of which has not been proved, it can lead to a delay in getting proper medical treatment.

Reflexology or Zone Therapy

Reflexologists have speculated that blockage of the energy flow of the "Ki" is responsible for prevention of healing. Another theory is that people who practice this therapy are able to provide stress relief and relief of pain in parts of the body with manipulation of the feet. There is one explanation that when pressure is applied in the feet it sends signals which balances the nervous system and releases chemicals like endorphins which help in reducing pain. This theory has not been accepted by general medical professionals who quote no specific scientific evidence to prove it.

The claim made by reflexologists that Reflexology manipulates energy has been quite controversial since there is no scientific evidence that something like "energy flow" in the body or "Ki" exists.

Benefits of Reflexology or Zone Therapy

Reflexology or Zone Therapy is beneficial as it leads to complete relaxation resulting in a complete balance of all the systems of the body, internal and external. It is also beneficial in the improvement of circulation in the body by stimulating the nervous system.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: December 6, 2013

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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